Bringing Back People into Community Hubs – Thoughts from A Venue Director

Following recent government guidance we are excited to see an increasing number of Wimblecomm member venues starting to bring back people to their spaces.  Some have already begun to offer their regular activities in an adapted, Covid19 secure way, and are well into their journey towards #BuildBackBetter.  Others are busy preparing for re-opening later this summer.

Operating a community hub during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic whilst ensuring that people working at and using the space are kept as safe as possible presents an unprecedented challenge for venue managers.  Unlike other sectors, community organisations and venues often organise their own activities as well as hire out their space to third parties for classes, one-off events, activities and other services.  Venue managers need to consider the needs of their hirers as well as end users when deciding on when and how to bring people back into their community hubs.  Undoubtedly they will have to make some tough decisions when prioritising activities along the way.

Thankfully there is much expert advice available, both on national government websites and at local level, including expert webinars and other resources shared on our Covid19 Hub Wimblecomm Webinars & Resources .  And with all the expert advice at our fingertips, what better way than hearing first hand from venue managers and their teams about their actual experience, thoughts and advice on the issues they face when transitioning from lockdown to re-opening and re-building their community hubs and services.  Not only does this provide invaluable insights for other venue managers and their hirers – it also rebuilds trust and confidence amongst the very people whom venues across Merton are keen to welcome back!  We are all in this – together!

Today, we are extremely pleased to share a Vlog from Naomi Martin, Director at the Commonside Community Development Trust/New Horizon Centre in Mitcham and a regular contributor to the #WimblecommBlog.  The Centre has recently started to run some of their regular activities on-site after months of lockdown during which the team continued to operate a satellite foodbank and other services as part of the Covid19 community response.

Naomi shares her words of caution, optimism, thoughts and advice – bringing the concept of ‘post-lockdown recovery’ to life.  We hope you will find her candid and heartfelt Vlog as useful and inspiring as we do!



If you are interested in finding out more about this dynamic community hub and the spaces it hires out you can search for ‘New Horizon Centre’ on:  Alternatively, please contact to enquire about hiring their space and updates on their current services/activities.

Finally, if you work at a community hub, or organise and/or attend events/activities at one, we would love to hear about your experience with re-opening and your thoughts on community space in Merton during these challenging times.  Please email us with any written pieces, Vlogs, and ideas which we will consider for a future Blog feature.

Introduction by Susanne Ollig

Wimblecomm #ConnectingMerton

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